• Naija Rules! has been around since 2003, providing a hangout for the fans of Nigerian and African movies. Our members were in the forefront of the spread of movies from Africa to the world.

Nollywood On Netflix


Well-Known Member
From Leila Djansi's blog;

I am back!!

Haha! Hahaha! Did y'all miss me? I missed my horrible writing/rambling.

I've been working y'all. Been working 10months straight on the film Where Children Play. Got to work with Macy Gray. Remember the song? 'I try to say goodbye and I choke'. Yep, that's my Aunt Mace!
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So, let's get down and dirty and tell some truths ok.

Last week, my African family social media was buzzing with joy. 'we have arrived! We have finally made it! Nollywood films are on netflx!'.
There's a Nigerian proverb that goes thus;

it is the child who has not traveled outside of his home, who insists his mother's soup is the sweetest'.

I think it's amazing, the exposure this gives Nollywood. But, exposure can go both ways.
If you look good naked, you can walk around a nude beach. If you have my kinda body, small small everywhere, cover up.

Nollywood has been grinding for years! Years! It needs victories. Sadly though, so sorry to burst your bubble guys. Nollywood films on Netflix are a victory for one person only. iROKO TV. They got the films there.

Yes, your films are on netflix, but is it showing up in your pocket? To be content that your film is on netlfix is so superficial. You need to benefit from your film being there - Financially.

Assuming the filmmakers are given some small change, by irokoTV for their films getting on Netflix, this would have been a major break. But they are not. The way the iroko deal works, they pay you an ok flat fee for a number of years. 5-15,000. dollars. No royalties. Therefore, if for the next 5 years they earn 100k on your film, they get to keep all that. All other African distributors use this model. Sadly, if you make a film on 500k, you still get paid same amount the person who made it for 20k gets paid. It's a jungle out there.

I have a film on Netflix. I was paid a hefty sum for the license by the distributor upfront, plus a distribution deal, plus 50pct share of profits. No, not a nollywood distributor. An American one. If they release my film on any platform, or do a sub license to another platform, I'm happy, because, money will come. My rent is due.

On the other hand, it would have been a victory for the filmmaker if the films were good enough to show the world.
I've seen the selection and 90% of the films there are crap. You get one chance to prove to the world that the African can handle his own affairs and this is what you show?

I watched a film on iROKO TV called 'Apaye'. Oh, I loved it! I loved it! It wasn't part of the netflix selection. 'Tango with me' another very good one, was not there either.

Whether you are an actor. A distributor or a producer, you an an ambassador of your enterprise to others. If you have an opportunity to put Africa on a pedestal, use it wisely.

Filmmakers. Now that you know iROKO will put your films on netflix, you know you won't see any money from the profits, at least, put up a good product, so someone else will see your work and give you a bigger opportunity.

You can circumvent the system and self distribute your films. That's what I did for my African titles. I chop it up. No one has an exclusive deal. If you want to try this, do it. You can also use an aggregator called Distribber. I've never used them, so I cannot advise:https://www.distribber.com/

Now is is the time to start involving lawyers when you sell your films. A lawyer will ensure you get the best deal possible. Giving up your film for 10,000 dollars and having it locked up for 5 years is no life. Out of desperation, filmmakers in Nollywood and Ghana are making sad deals. The industry is dying off. But if you involve the legal system, it stands a chance. yeah yeah yeah, lawyers are greedy etc. But there are good ones out there. Distributors in Ghana could come together and pay for a guild attorney who will handle their distribution deals, so can their counterparts in Nigeria. That way, you get the best for your work.

The distributors won't be happy you got a lawyer, but, they have no content without your films. Take a stand.

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Staff member
This is everything I said a few days ago in another thread here. Just in a lot more words.
And she's right. Iroko is the beneficiary here, unless the original contract preempts/anticipates this somehow.
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Kala Lou

Well-Known Member
I was really disappointed with all the Nolly flicks that made it to Netflix, cert maybe for "October 1st"...talk about putting your best foot forward...


Born to lead and follow
Perhaps those are the best they had?
NAH! Nollywood had better movies, in fact they put some of the worst. I couldn't even watch most of them. I managed one with Chris Atoh and Damilola Adegbite and chai!! It was a waste of my precious time and a pain to my eyes. The likes of Tango with me and The Meeting, Phone Swap, Last flight to Abuja etc should be what we should be showcasing not backyard movies that confirm every stereotype about Nigeria...not impressed...yet!


Staff member
If Iroko hands over their best licenses, why would folks continue to patronise them when they can watch the same thing on Netflix? Maybe there is no real incentive yet to hand over the quality stuff. Or maybe the quality producers did not sign over all their rights to Iroko to do as they please...


Well-Known Member
If Iroko hands over their best licenses, why would folks continue to patronise them when they can watch the same thing on Netflix? Maybe there is no real incentive yet to hand over the quality stuff. Or maybe the quality producers did not sign over all their rights to Iroko to do as they please...

Exactly! It costs money to make a great movie. From Leila's post, we already know that the netflix deal isn't particularly financially beneficial to the filmmakers. So it makes sense if these other films aren't on there.